When searching for the best new cars and SUVs for under $25,000, you’re most likely going to be looking at the lower trim levels of compact sedans and hatchbacks, as well as the lower trim levels of subcompact and midcompact SUVs. This list will focus on those (plus a new compact pickup), but if you’re more interested in maximizing feature content for your money, you could easily consider the better-equipped upper trim levels of our choices in our best cars for under $20,000 list.
Note that all the cars we’ve chosen have prices that start under $25,000 when the mandatory destination charge is included. It’s always left out of the MSRP, effectively making the car in question seem cheaper than it actually is. We’ve also considered equipment levels and whether you’d actually want a particular car at that trim/price level. There’s no point in recommending something if it’s really only appealing with $6,000 worth of options and therefore pricier than $25,000.
Best new cars under $25,000
Why it stands out: Attractive and well-made cabin; sharp driving manners; excellent engines; ample space; sedan and hatchback body styles
Could be better: Infotainment system not as good as Hyundai’s
Read our 2022 Honda Civic Review
The Civic was completely redesigned for 2022, taking everything that worked so well for its revolutionary predecessor (ample interior space, sharp driving dynamics, efficient engines) and amplifying with a more grown-up appearance, a slick new cabin, superior technology and general refinements everywhere you look. The Civic is just a terrific car. And the great thing is, it’s still a terrific car when priced under $25,000. The car pictured above is the Sport trim level, which starts at $24,095. It looks great and is nicely equipped. Now, the Sport Hatchback is just a hair over $25,000, but it’s close enough to tout the Civic as offering both sedan and hatchback body styles. Both are also available in base LX trim levels. We may…